Global Food Security & Feed the Future

Peace Corps Volunteers around the world address global food security strategy by improving nutrition outcomes for mothers and children, addressing resiliency to climate-related shocks, and reducing poverty.

As Volunteers focus their collective efforts on food security innovations and interventions, the agency is moving ahead to invest in, support, and extend these activities throughout the world.

In July 2016, President Obama signed into law the Global Food Security Act (S.1252), which was passed by Congress with broad bipartisan support. The law reinforces the U.S. Government’s successful approach to increasing food security and nutrition through the Feed the Future initiative, and sends a clear message that the United States is committed to empowering smallholder producers, especially women, improving nutrition, and strengthening communities and economies through agricultural development and resiliency to climate-related shocks.

As one of 11 agencies that comprise Feed the Future, the Peace Corps has been actively involved in developing the U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy [PDF] under the Global Food Security Act, and we are excited about our role moving forward. Read the Peace Corps Global Food Security Implementation Plan [PDF].

This Feed the Future partnership is increasing food security in the communities where Peace Corps Volunteers work in West Africa.

Food security is defined as all people, at all times, having physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. 

There are four pillars to food security: Availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability. Peace Corps Volunteers work across sectors to strengthen each of these pillars. See examples of this work below.

Availability:  In Burkina Faso, Volunteers are working to increase the availability of food by conducting trainings on agriculture and animal husbandry, beekeeping, soy transformations and bio-intensive gardening.

Accessibility:  In Cameroon, Volunteers work with female farmers to strengthen household diets and generate additional income. By growing and marketing their products, and reviewing the benefits of saving profits and planning for the future, Volunteers are helping to provide greater access to food.

Utilization:  In Mozambique, Volunteers are working to address malnutrition in vulnerable communities, especially among children and people living with HIV/AIDS, thereby ensuring that individuals better utilize available food nutrients.

Stability:  Volunteers in Madagascar established a System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Demonstration Field, where they conduct trainings with community farmers on this low-water, labor-intensive organic method that can increase yields and improve harvests by two tons per hectare. Projects like this help ensure that our Volunteers’ capacity building efforts remain stable over time.